Episode 4 - Shakuntala and King Bharata
The episodes are getting a little longer now, as the stories get more detailed. Before the book gets to the "direct line" of characters, it takes a bit of a detour to introduce some of the important ancestors in the Bharata Dynasty. These include Bharata himself, plus his ancestor Yayati (and his son Puru), as well as Bharata's descendent Kuru. The sketches are in fact quite brief, and the lengthy portions are generally about very specific aspects of their lives. In the case of Bharata, we'll hear a lot of information about his conception and the questions of his legitimacy, and that's about all.
As for Kuru, we only hear that he recovered the throne of Hastinapur sometime after his father lost it to the King of Panchala. The story of Yayati and his sons is much longer, but it is also quite odd. I'm going to save it for later because it also bears on the descent of Krishna, plus I'm anxious to get going with the main story!
So for this time, it's the story of Bharata, his mother Shakuntala, and his jerk of a father, King Dushanta...